Epidemiology and aetiology of C4-6 disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Although our understanding of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) has improved, many important questions remain unanswered. Ensuring that patients are appropriately referred for specialist assessment and then receive evidence-based, cost-effective treatment continues to be challenging. The lifetime of risk of chronic venous ulceration (CVU) is around 1% with approximately 10% ulcers being open at any one time. The incidence skin changes disease is about 10 times greater (10%). However, many of the studies upon which these estimates are based are old and/or methodologically flawed. There is reason to believe that the incidence, prevalence and characteristics of CVI/CVU may have changed considerably over the last 10-20 years and that future change is likely. Further cross-sectional and longitudinal epidemiological studies are required to establish the size and nature of the health-care need going forward in developed and increasingly developing countries. CVI culminating CVU is primarily the result of sustained ambulatory venous hypertension, which in turn arises from superficial and/or deep venous reflux with or without deep vein obstruction. However, there are many other elements to this complex condition, for example, microvascular dysfunction; calf muscle pump efficiency; dermal inflammation; disordered fibroblast function and matrix production; failure of epithelialization; congenital and acquired thrombophilia; malnutrition, obesity and diet; and bacterial colonization. None of the currently available treatment modalities is entirely satisfactory and novel therapies based upon a clearer understanding of the disease at the psychological, genetic, mechanical, microvascular and microscopic level are required.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalPhlebology
Volume25 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010

Keywords

  • chronic venous insufficiency, varicose ulcer, CEAP classification, varicose veins